I've heard many good things about Frances Marion as an author and screenwriter, and she sure doesn't disappoint in this one. We start with Gracie Fields as Molly Barry, an out-of-work actress who sings about the sinful artfulness of men while artfully getting her fellow thespian drunk in order to blackmail her way in on his gig as butler at the Graham estate. Ah, but her hypocrisy is only the beginning of the fun as she uncovers the household staff's graft and corruption, then calls their bluff when they threaten to all quit at once—the story gets well under way when she invites in all her fellow residents from the theatrical boarding house to replace the departed staff.
There are many embarrassing moments worthy of the corniest of 1960's-70's sitcoms, but also some truly hilarious moments, such as how the new staff celebrate the success of their first ever dinner party. There are some serious situations, too, but the staff definitely take action—and, oh, how they act! The most hilarious aspect of the film is watching a cast of actors acting as actors acting as domestic servants, and oh how they over
act! I always thought of Barbara Kellerman
as the queen of overacting (at least she was in the BBC production of The Chronicles of Narnia),
but here are the rest of her court, all gathered together on the set of one movie. There are also the tender moments when the old man reconciles with his son, whose only sin is having the misfortune of being his mother's child.
If I haven't tempted you to see this movie by now, by all means follow the above link to its IMDb page, and then on to the reviews. And then put down some pillows so that you do not hurt yourself while rolling on the floor with laughter.